5 players who should be traded during NBA Draft

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Tobias Harris (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tobias Harris (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Thursday’s NBA Draft has the potential to alter the balance of power in the NBA, starting with No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama. But what is perhaps more immediately influential are all the potential trades. 

The 2023 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 22 at 8 p.m. E.T. in Chicago. While all eyes will be on Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs at No. 1, not to mention the Hornets and their decision at No. 2, draft night has the potential to be shaped by the trade market as much as anything else.

We have been inundated with trade chatter starting as early as Charlotte in the No. 2 slot and Portland in the No. 3 slot. Several big names have already infiltrated the rumor mill, from aging stars to pre-prime superstars with tattered reputations.

With every team preparing for the new collective bargaining agreement and the myriad financial restrictions it will impose starting July 1, expect a flurry of activity. Teams will be looking to balance the books, manage star salaries, and place renewed energy into player development — starting with the incoming rookies.

So, which current NBA players should be dealt as part of this flurry? Here are five names that simply make too much sense.

No. 5 player who should be traded during NBA Draft: Tobias Harris

The Sixers have been tethered to Tobias Harris for the last four years after he signed a ludicrous five-year, $180 million extension in the fateful summer of 2019. That decision has hamstrung the Sixers’ ability to maneuver on the trade market and in free agency ever sense.

Well, not anymore.

Harris is entering the final year of his mega-deal with roughly $39.3 million left on the books. That number is still egregious and no team will be outwardly begging to pay him that much money for what he provides on the court.

That said, the new CBA will have teams interested in big chunks of expiring money. Harris is off the books clean next season and even if his next employer wishes to re-sign him, the price tag won’t be nearly as high.

For the Sixers, it’s time to flesh out the depth chart and shake things up around the Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey core. Harris is a respectable fourth banana who has made real efforts to conform to his smaller role, but he’s still a square peg in a round hole half the time. If Philadelphia can exchange him for a couple legitimate role players — maybe even some draft capital — it would be worthwhile.